Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

So now that we’ve all had our fill of guilty pleasures this holiday season, left regretting every decision that seemed like a ‘good one at the time’, I encourage you to continue on your downward spiral and overindulge at least until the first of the year. We’ll all make resolutions that we’ll conveniently forget come March so let’s all throw caution to the wind and start baking!! Who’s with me? No? Oh, come on!!

Well, those of you who truly think this is a good idea, I’m going to start with my favorite cookie recipe of this season. Yes, it is a Christmas cookie but I try to hang on to the Christmas spirit as long as I possibly can. When all the toys and gifts are open, wrapping paper is everywhere, and the kids are running around playing, I just sit and think “All that work and now it’s all over.” Not this year!! Grab those candy canes off the tree and get your frustration out by smacking the crap out of them! Check this out…

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies or candy canes (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina)

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with long strip of 9-inch-wide parchment paper, leaving overhang on both short sides of pan. Whisk flour and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla, then egg yolk. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed just to blend.
  • Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into prepared baking pan, spacing evenly. Using moistened fingertips, press dough to form even layer over bottom of pan. Pierce dough all over with fork.
  • Bake cookie base until light golden brown and slightly puffed and edges begin to come away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes. Place pan on rack; immediately sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over. Let stand until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Using small offset spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate over top of cookie in thin even layer. Immediately sprinkle chopped peppermint candies over.
  • Stir white chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Using fork, drizzle white chocolate all over cookies. Chill until white chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
  • Using paper overhang as aid, lift cookie from pan and transfer to work surface. Using large knife, cut cookie into irregular pieces. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in refrigerator in airtight containers between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper.

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